- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 31, 2012

Contrary to Terrence Scanlon’s accusations (“Picking seniors’ pockets,” Commentary, Tuesday), AARP has a long history of working to protect and strengthen health and retirement security of older Americans.

While Washington continues to discuss changes to Medicare and Social Security as part of a backroom budget deal, AARP has launched “You’ve Earned a Say,” a national conversation about how to strengthen these critical programs for today’s seniors and future generations alike.

As a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping all Americans age with dignity, AARP leads positive social change through advocacy, research and volunteering in our communities. AARP also lends its name to products that meet high standards and improve the market for consumer-friendly options that serve the health and financial security needs of people 50 and older. The revenue AARP receives is put directly into our mission of serving older Americans.

Instead of talking about political deals that would cut Medicare and Social Security to reduce the deficit, Washington - and America as a whole - should be talking about how to strengthen these programs for current and future generations.

We invite Mr. Scanlon and all Americans to join the conversation about how they would strengthen health and retirement security at earnedasay.org.

JOHN HISHTA

Senior vice president, AARP

Washington